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“It doesn't matter that they won't remember me. What matters is I helped.”

Cole appears to be a human male who lives in the White Spire, the Circle of Magi located in Val Royeaux, capital of Orlais. He is also a potential companion in Dragon Age: Inquisition.


“He is a ghost in the shadows, walking unnoticed through crowds. He can slit an enemy's throat before they even realize he's there, and slip away, never to be seen again. Those few who do notice him soon forget he ever existed… and Cole isn't certain that he does exist.”[1]

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Asunder.

Cole is a unique entity, described as being caught somewhere between the realm of the Fade and the real world. He is a spirit, though there are some who believe that he may be some sort of demon pretending to be human. Cole himself is unsure of what exactly he is, and his unique set of abilities are unprecedented. Cole also has the uncanny ability to sense people who are in pain. He uses this ability to find people in the most painful moment of their lives and offers them comfort without hesitation, judgement, or expectation of thanks.[1] He is searching for his place in the world; an ally to those who wish to help others.

Prior to his death, the mage formerly known as Cole was an apostate that befriended a spirit of compassion.[5] When Cole was around twelve years old, his father attempted to kill him, as he had Cole's mother, for having "evil" in him. Cole hid with his younger sister Bunny, and accidentally killed her while trying to keep her quiet.[6] Cole later killed his father by sinking a dagger into his heart. The dagger had originally belonged to his mother, the only piece of the wilder folk she'd kept.[7]

The templars arrested Cole after the deaths of his family, and placed him in the dungeons of the White Spire, as is customary for young mages who have deliberately caused injury or death to others. The spirit would later recall that his human counterpart suffered beatings and "worse than beatings" from templars.[8]

While an inquiry was supposed to follow his arrest, a new templar filled out the paperwork incorrectly, which resulted in Cole being placed in one of the most remote cells and forgotten. He eventually starved to death. As Knight-Commander Laroche deemed Cole "a possessed abomination waiting to happen" and the templar responsible sufficiently racked with guilt, he decided against punishing the templar and instead erased all records of Cole's existence.[9] Unable to help the young man, the spirit instead became him, gaining his personality and memories upon his death and becoming corporeal in the process.[10]


Dragon Age: Asunder

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Asunder.

BioWare canon.png
The plot follows BioWare's own canon, meaning it may not follow some of the player's choices in the games.

"The Ghost of the Spire"

Cole is first encountered as the Ghost of the Spire. No one can see or remember him—none save Rhys, who goes on to form a friendship with the young man over the course of a year. Cole is also the murderer who has been stalking the corridors of the Spire, granting apprentices and newly-arrived mages a swift end rather than the eventual prospect of Tranquility or execution by the Templars. He does these so-called mercy killings because those who wish for death or are about to die are the only ones who can see and "remember" him.

Before Rhys, Wynne, Evangeline and Adrian leave for Adamant Fortress, Cole overhears Evangeline's conversation with Lord Seeker Lambert, who orders her to kill the mages should they discover that the Rite of Tranquility can be reversed. Worried, Cole follows the group in an attempt to warn Rhys and keep him safe. While in Adamant, the group, including Cole, are drawn into the Fade and face various nightmares—one of which is a memory of Cole's. It reveals that Cole came from a very poor family with a violently abusive father who thought his son cursed for having magic and tried to kill him. It is later revealed that Cole eventually killed his father. Some time after this, the Templars found him and brought him to the Spire.

The group escapes the Fade and manages to free Pharamond from the demonic possession. They leave Adamant with the knowledge that it's possible to reverse the Rite of Tranquility. On the way back to Val Royeaux, Pharamond has to be repeatedly reintroduced to Cole due to the latter's ability to make people forget him. Pharamond takes interest in Cole and speculates that he's a hedge mage, though Cole denies any ability to do magic. Pharamond explains the concept of "arcanist derangement", thinking that it might be applicable to Cole.

After Rhys is imprisoned for the apparent murder of Pharamond, everyone suspects Cole to be the culprit. However, when confronted by Wynne and Evangeline, Cole reveals that although Pharamond begged him for death, he refused. Cole then joins Leliana in storming the Spire's cells and freeing the imprisoned mages. Cole goes to locate Rhys and frees him. They attempt to escape the Spire through the sewers, but are discovered by Lambert. Lambert reveals he used Rhys' phylactery, which he had kept on his person to prevent it from being destroyed. Cole tries to murder Lambert, but the Lord Seeker is able to disrupt Cole's invisibility using the Litany of Adralla, revealing that Cole is in fact a spirit or demon with the ability to keep people from remembering him, or even noticing him at all. The Lord Seeker relentlessly assaults Cole, accusing him of using Rhys to commit murder. Cole slowly realizes that Lambert is correct about what he is, and with that knowledge, fades away.

After Lambert has dictated a letter, declaring the independence of the Templars and Seekers from Chantry oversight, he retires to his quarters for the evening but finds himself confronted by Cole with a dagger to his throat. The Lord Seeker is surprised, but Cole explains that there was in fact a human mage named Cole who had been brought to the dungeons of the Spire and was subsequently forgotten and left to starve by the Templars. His cries had attracted the spirit now posing as Cole, who had stayed with him to console him until the very end. Lambert demands to know what Cole wants, to which Cole replies to Lord Seeker Lambert that he wants him to "look into [his] eyes", the same thing he told all his victims before killing them.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Cole tarot card

Depending on whether the Inquisitor chooses to support the mages or templars, Cole's introduction to the Inquisition will differ. In an attempt to find his place in the world, Cole seeks out the Inquisition.

If the Templars were recruited:
Cole first appears at Therinfal Redoubt to help the Inquisitor escape a demon of Envy.[1] It is here that he helps the Inquisitor fight against the Envy demon, both out of the nightmare the demon has placed them in, and upon returning to the real world.

Upon the Inquisition returning back to Haven, Cole will suddenly appear on the table in the War Room, stating that he followed the Inquisitor back, and that he wants to help the Inquisition. You can choose to either recruit him here or permanently throw him out of the party.

If the mages were recruited:
Cole turns up in Haven to warn the Inquisition about the upcoming attack from the Red Templars. You will decide whether to recruit him in Skyhold.

In Haven, Cole can be found next to the merchant near the main gate. A small cutscene will take place, where Cole is sensing the pain of a dying soldier. The Inquisitor has the option to allow Cole to grant the man peace by death, or to tell Cole to let the man try and recover. If mages were recruited, the same cutscene will take place in Skyhold's bottom courtyard.

If Vivienne was recruited, she objects to Cole's presence in the Inquisition and recommends that the Inquisitor turn him away, while Solas argues for keeping him. Cassandra also has questions regarding Cole's true nature, and advises that the Inquisitor tell him to leave.

Cole (spirit) tarot card

At the Inquisition headquarters in Skyhold, Cole moves to the top floor of the tavern. He begins doing odd things around the stronghold, such as burning turnips or hoarding daggers. However, if the Inquisitor listens to more conversations and does not tell him to stop, it will be revealed that these odd things are his ways of helping people.

After the Inquisition confronts the Grey Wardens, Cole begs Solas to bind him in order to prevent him from being controlled like the demons in Adamant Fortress. Solas refuses and instead proposes that the Inquisitor obtain a Rivaini amulet that protects a spirit from being controlled through blood magic. Once the amulet is retrieved, Solas finds that something is blocking its magic from affecting Cole. Varric claims that it's because Cole is no longer a spirit, but a person. Cole senses the location of the thing preventing the amulet from working. When the Inquisitor, Cole, Solas, and Varric reach its location, they find the templar that left the original Cole to die in his cell in the White Spire. Cole goes into a rage and attacks the templar, chasing him away. Solas suggests Cole embrace his essence as a spirit of compassion and forgive the templar, while Varric suggests Cole face him head on and come to terms with what happened.

Cole (human) tarot card

If the Inquisitor chooses to have Cole forgive the templar:
When Solas and Cole confront the templar, Solas advises Cole to feel the templar's regret for his actions. Cole forgives him, then takes his pain away by making him forget. Now that Cole accepts himself as a spirit of compassion, the amulet protects him from being bound or controlled by others. He feels everyone's pain but he can approach them unseen and whisper soothing words to them to ease their pain.

If the Inquisitor chooses to have Cole confront the templar:
When Varric and Cole confront the templar, Varric gives his crossbow to Cole so he can execute the templar. Cole pulls the trigger, but does not fire a bolt. Learning from Varric that killing the templar won't make his pain go away, Cole tries to make the templar forget, but Varric stops him, telling him both Cole and the templar need to remember. Solas says the amulet will never work on Cole and Varric insists it is because Cole is now more human and is no longer vulnerable to being controlled because of it. Cole retains his skills and can still feel people's pain—albeit less loudly and more easily drowned out by his own pain—but he can now be seen and remembered by people and begins to feel things he had never felt before. He is also more aware about the complexity of human nature and is able to remember things he's done in the past. By becoming more human, he loses the ability to make people forget him as well.

Later on, Cole can be found on the Skyhold battlements, pondering on how Corypheus had managed to cheat death. This leads him to question if he could have saved the mortal Cole. If Cole was encouraged to forgive the templar from his personal quest, he will make himself forget about the mortal Cole—thus erasing his Cole persona. Though he will still acknowledge being addressed by the name Cole, he has fully embraced being a spirit and now speaks in a monotone voice.

If Cole was encouraged to work through his feelings with the templar:
Cole will tell the Inquisitor the tale of how he met the mortal Cole and how the forgotten apostate's last words to him as a spirit were "Thank you" for holding his hand in his final moments. Alternatively, if Cole's personal quest has not been completed, Cole will state that the memory of being unable to help the mortal Cole weighs on him and keeps him there. Whether the Inquisitor encourages or discourages Cole to forget the mortal Cole, Cole will be unable to forget him.

If Cole's disapproval gets too high, he will be found outside Skyhold confronting the Inquisitor about not caring about people and uses his ability to make the Inquisitor forget about him, thus leaving the Inquisition. Alternatively if Cole's personal quest was completed by making him work through his feelings he loses his ability to make people forget and simply leaves after confronting the Inquisitor.


This section contains spoilers for:

If the Inquisitor is friends with Cole:
Two years after Corypheus' defeat, before the Exalted Council starts, the Inquisitor can meet Cole after he subtly has an Orlesian noble relinquish his table so that a bird may feast on his left over bread crumbs. He then joins the Inquisitor as a companion as they uncover a Qunari plot in the midst of Exalted Council's negotiations with the Inquisition.

If Cole is more Spirit:
He will subtly play matchmaker between Maryden Halewell and Krem (if the Chargers are alive) or Zither (if the Chargers are dead). In the end, Cole will return to the Fade because he senses that it will be where he will be most needed to ease pain as a Spirit of Compassion, but he promises his friends in the Inquisition that they will not forget him.

If Cole is more Human:
It is revealed that he and Maryden have become a couple, and in the end, the two will travel together across Thedas, where Cole and Maryden work together to ease the pain of many people.


The Forgotten Boy The Forgotten Boy
Locate Rhys and Evangeline Locate Rhys and Evangeline (war table)
Deploy Rhys and Evangeline Deploy Rhys and Evangeline (war table)
Obtain Amulet for Cole Obtain Amulet for Cole (war table)
Subjected to His Will Subjected to His Will


Main article: Cole/Approval

Cole approves of those who go out of their way to help the helpless or the hurt. He approves of killing or punishing those who hurt people. Allow him to help but do not condone his past of killing mages nor asserting to stop him if he kills innocents as that will net disapproval. Be wary of imprisoning people in your judgments as that also nets disapproval.

A few side quests in the Hinterlands and the Exalted Plains where you help people in dire circumstances gains him moderate approval whether he is in the party or not. However, there are several instances that will yield DAIApproval.png Cole Greatly Approves:

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

This section contains spoilers for:

  • After meeting Viddasala in the Darvaarad - expressing intent to rescue Solas rather than kill him.


Initial talents

Ability trees Initially selected abilities
Double Daggers Double Daggers
Archery Archery
Sabotage Sabotage
Subterfuge Subterfuge
Assassin Assassin (specialization)

Initial equipment

Armor variations for Cole. Note: Sturdy, superior & refined armors of the same type are visually identical.

Weapons Dalish Slasher Dalish SlasherDalish Slasher Dalish Slasher
Armor Hunter Coat Hunter CoatCole's Hat Cole's Hat

Restricted accessories

Amulet of Power Amulet of Power (2)


Main article: Cole/Dialogue

Promotional image of Cole in Heroes of Dragon Age

Dragon Age: Asunder

  • "Now I walk within the shadows. I can see the light, but it never finds me. I reach for it, but it slips through my fingers. In the shadows you are always alone, the world oblivious to your passing."[11]
  • "Look into my eyes…"

Dragon Age: Inquisition

  • "The 'Inquisition' isn't real unless it has something real to make it. It's like a spirit."
  • "It is dangerous when too many men in the same armor think they're right."
  • "I want to help. I can be hard to see. I can kill things that would hurt people."
  • [To a demon of Envy] "Dark and desperate, death to make yourself alive. I used to be like you. I'm not anymore. You shouldn't be either."
  • "A broken body, bloody, banged on the stone cell, guts gripping in the dark dank, a captured apostate. They threw him into the dungeon in the Spire at Val Royeaux. They forgot about him. He starved to death. I came through to help… and I couldn't. So I became him."
  • "This world taught me that changing means losing your friends. But now I know it doesn't have to be true. I have enough self to know what I felt was foolish. Isn't it wonderful?"
  • "He thought if he didn't have magic… I'm what he wanted to be. Him, but normal. So no one would hurt him."
  • "I don't steal the pain. The nightmare demon at Adamant did that, it made them less so it could grow. I help them heal."

Codex entries

Codex entry: Cole Codex entry: Cole
Codex entry: Cole and the Last Few Years Codex entry: Cole and the Last Few Years


Cole (left) in stealth with a rogue Inquisitor (right) in stealth

  • While he was originally written by David Gaider in Dragon Age: Asunder, he is written by Patrick Weekes in Dragon Age: Inquisition.[1]
  • For Patrick Weekes, Cole was the most difficult companion to write in Dragon Age: Inquisition.[3]
  • When Cole enters stealth, he will turn a translucent green with wispy curls inside, like a Wraith or a fade rift. This differs significantly from other rogue characters, who have a shimmering white outline while in stealth.
  • When spoken to in Skyhold, Cole will often speak cryptic lines in greeting. Many of these lines reference events or plot elements from Inquisition, other Bioware games, or from popular culture.
  • In promotional material for Dragon Age: Inquisition, he is described as "The Spirit."
  • Cole is originally from Ferelden.[12]
  • Cole is described as different and seeing everything differently, since he’s not like other people.[13]
  • Cole's greatest fear is despair.

This section contains spoilers for:
Dragon Age: Inquisition.

  • According to Patrick Weekes, there is no "win" option in his quest, as either choice has positive and negative aspects. As a spirit, Cole is happier and more at peace, and yet losing parts of himself; if more human, he is less happy but far more relatable. This was done to demonstrate that there is no right or wrong decision.[3]
  • If Subjected to His Will was not completed prior to confronting Corypheus, Cole will not be available to join the party regardless of whether he is still in Skyhold.


  • Even in fully patched versions of the game, Cole's specialization may never unlock.